Kaleidescape has announced its first 4K movie system, built around the new Strato movie player that supports HDMI 2.0a and HDR content. The Strato will be available with 6 TB of internal storage for $4,495 or without storage for $3,495. The new Encore 4K system also incldues the Terra movie server for storing a large number of 4K films and distributing them to multiple Strato players, as well as an updated versions of the Alto 1080p movie player and a new disc server to store Blu-ray discs and DVDs. 4K film downloads will be available through the Kaleidescape Movie Store. The Strato will be available in early 2016.
Kaleidescape, Inc. has announced the launch of a new product line called Encore. The centerpiece of Encore is the Kaleidescape Strato Movie Player, the world's first 4K Ultra HD high-dynamic-range movie player for the home. The Strato renders movies in the most stunning video and audio quality available.
The Encore line also includes the Kaleidescape Alto Movie Player, a new movie server named Terra, and a disc server that makes it easy to select and play DVDs and Blu-ray discs on a Strato or Alto movie player.
The Strato is designed to provide an immersive home-cinema experience, with playback quality that matches or surpasses that of commercial theaters. Each movie is downloaded and stored on a local hard drive--either on a Strato or on a Terra Movie Server. The Strato plays back the movie in full 4K Ultra HD, at up to 60 frames per second, without the startup delays, buffering messages, or quality drops that are so common with streaming services. The Strato supports lossless multichannel audio and is capable of playing HDR content on televisions and projectors that can process open standard 10-bit HDMI 2.0a HDR. The Strato onscreen user interface is also displayed in full 4K Ultra HD, at 60 frames per second, resulting in fluid animation and a stunning visual impact.
The Strato can be purchased with or without an internal 6TB hard drive that can store up to 100 4K Ultra HD movies, 150 Blu-ray quality movies, or 900 DVD quality movies. The Strato equipped with an internal hard drive can be used standalone or in a system comprised of other Encore components. The Strato without internal storage plays back from a movie server.
The company also announced two new models of the Kaleidescape Alto Movie Player. One comes with a 6TB internal hard drive; the other has no internal movie storage and plays back from a movie server. The Alto plays Blu-ray and DVD quality movies downloaded from the Kaleidescape Movie Store. It can also play Blu-ray discs and DVDs via its built-in Blu-ray drive or from a Kaleidescape Disc Server.
The Kaleidescape Terra Movie Server stores movies and serves them to players on the home network. The Terra also provides computing and caching services that enhance the performance of the Strato and Alto movie players, and enables system configurations with up to 50 players. The Terra Movie Server can simultaneously stream 4K movies to up to seven Strato players, or Blu-ray quality movies to up to 15 players (Strato or Alto).
"I've long argued that streaming offers immediacy and convenience, but the Internet can't deliver a reliable high-bitrate content stream, such as 4K, unless it is heavily compressed," said industry analyst Dan Rayburn, Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. "Kaleidescape's model of downloading and playing back from a local hard drive is the only way to get Internet-delivered content to match a 4K disc experience. Many of the service providers touting 4K content are capping their streaming bitrates at 16 Mbps. So, naturally, Strato's local playback--with bitrates up to 100 Mbps--will deliver better picture and sound quality," he added.
"For people like me, who are into home cinema, Kaleidescape's 4K movie player is the only option," said Michael Hunkapiller, a long-time Kaleidescape customer. "What is exciting about this announcement is that I get to enjoy all the benefits of the Kaleidescape experience, while continuing to keep up with the state-of-the-art audio and video technologies, such as 4K Ultra HD, HDR, and Dolby Atmos. Whenever available, I choose to purchase movies from the Kaleidescape Movie Store, instead of on discs. The store offers the same pristine quality, coupled with the convenience of Internet delivery. I use the Kaleidescape Disc Server for movies I can't find anywhere but on disc. This is the ultimate movie-lover's dream."
Additional facts about the new products:
• Multiple Kaleidescape Encore products function as one system--sharing content. The onscreen user interface aggregates and displays these shared movies as a unified collection. This feature has been the hallmark of Kaleidescape since the company's inception. Users can browse their collections by title, genre, actor, director, and other criteria.
• The Kaleidescape Strato is a vendor-neutral 4K media source, meaning that it works with any 4K television or projector that supports HDMI 2.0 or 2.0a, and provides access to thousands of movies from major Hollywood motion-picture studios via the Kaleidescape Movie Store.
"We are very proud to introduce our new Encore line of movie players and servers, which provides the industry's finest sound and picture quality, and the most entertaining and convenient way to experience your movies at home," said Cheena Srinivasan, Kaleidescape co-founder and CEO. "Our new Strato movie player provides the most authentic home-cinema experience. Our new Terra product is Kaleidescape's third-generation movie server; it incorporates everything we learned from the first two generations. These new products are supported by the release of our new movie store, which is more attractive and easier to navigate than ever before. To date, Kaleidescape has licensed over 11,000 movies and 1,500 television seasons for our movie store. We also provide a way for you to seamlessly integrate your DVDs and Blu-ray discs with the content you download from our movie store."
The Kaleidescape Alto and the Kaleidescape Disc Server are available now. The Kaleidescape Terra will be available in November. The Kaleidescape Strato will be available in the United States, Canada, and U.K. in early Q1, 2016. In the United States and Canada, the Strato MSRP will be $4,495 for the model with an internal 6 TB hard drive and $3,495 for the model with no internal movie storage.